Marriage: Things They Don’t Warn You About

The other day I touched on the things nobody warns you about before you have kids… so here’s the follow up. Thing’s nobody warns you about before you get married.

1. Communication is Key. Just kidding, people TOTALLY tell you that before you get married, they tell you that ad nauseam. What they DON’T tell you is at that some point (or on a regular basis, you know, whichever) your partner will be telling you something very important, that they feel very strongly about…

…but the entire conversation will sound like one long sexual innuendo (in your end-o!) and you need to make your face look serious when really your brain can do nothing but scream “THAT’S WHAT SHEEEE SAAAAAID!” But if you interrupt them to actually say that while they’re trying to tell you their very important thing you’re a terrible person, so you can’t.

This is what your face will look like when it happens.
This is what your face will look like when it happens.

2. Thermostat Wars: The Struggle Is Real

Thermostat wars are the shit divorces are made of. The temperature of your house seems like such a minor detail… but marry someone with a wildly different core body temperature than your own and it will be the most frustratingly passive aggressive battle you’ll ever fight.

Incidentally, this is why my sister Tricia and I can never live together as adults. If we did every winter would look like this…
live fast die young bad girls do it well

 

3. Everyone thinks their spouse does 40% of the work. Seriously, I know people who’s spouse is totally worthless and does like 2% of the work in their house and people who’s spouse does 90% of the work… but when it really comes down to it they think their spouse does ok but that they themselves do slightly more.
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Everyone thinks they do the most and statically that just can’t be the case (because math bitches!). I don’t really know exactly what you should do with that little truth nugget… just that somebody should probably warn you before you get hitched.

 

Funschool Sunday

What we’ve been doing instead of going to school.
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1-2: Learning to spell (Finn) and write (Verona) their names (V is signing Christmas cards.)

3: Building gingerbread houses at the library.

4: Verona is obsessed with Go Fish.

5: We’ve been learning about jazz and swing… subsequently we’ve been listening to a ton of Django Reinhardt because I <3 him.

6-7: We made birdseed ornaments to decorate the tree outside and feed the birds.

8: Aquarium

9: Verona is taking more formal lessons on the ukulele because she wanted to. Finn is playing around on the ukulele a lot because he wants to be like his big sister.

10: Reading together on the kindle.

11: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

12: Learning to make the holiday food of our people, pfeffernusse.

13-16: We went up north of Seattle to Port Townsend, the city that in the 1800s was supposed to grow into the largest shipping port on the west coast. We learned about the shipping industry, the town, Victorian architecture, local aquatic life, sea glass, the geography of the Puget Sound, and a hundred other things. The day ended with a ferry ride, the kids first, and answering the 100 questions they had then about how ships move. On our way across the sound we also got to see some wild otters swimming near by.

Sex Ed aka What It’s Really Like To Have Kids

I have a new idea to improve public school sex ed classes and reduce teenage pregnancy. They should have me come in and give a talk… a very honest talk. It will go a little something like this.

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“Good morning children. I’m sure your teacher has already thoroughly gone over all the teenage pregnancy statistics with you. How much child support costs, how much less likely you are to graduate or even go to college, the health risks… that’s all true. You’ll have a lot harder time in life if you get pregnant right now.

And I’m sure since you’ve all seen babies you’re aware of how adorable they are, and how fun they are. Babies are crazy fun and adorable and wonderful to have… that’s also true.

But since you already know it’s hard and expensive and fun and rewarding to have kids let me tell you what it’s really like to have kids… the part nobody tells you about.

When you have little kids there will always… ALWAYS… be one thing in your house that smells like pee. Maybe nobody else can smell it, but you’ll be able to. YOU’LL ALWAYS BE ABLE TO. And you’ll search and search for it and spend what feels like half your days just wandering around your house like a senile old dog sniffing random objects, searching for the mystery pee smell which may or may not actually exist. Yeah, you heard me, sometimes THERE WON’T BE A SINGLE FREAKING THING IN YOUR HOUSE that actually has pee on it at all… BUT YOU WILL STILL. SMELL IT. ANYWAY.

And it will gas light the shit out of you. That, THAT is what it’s really like to have kids.”

*drops mic*

*runs back over and grabs mic off the floor*

“And also your entire bathroom will always be covered in tooth paste.”

*throws mic back on the floor and leaves the room*

And all those little teenage girls will raise their hands furiously screaming “Get me an IUD! I need an IUD right now!!!!” and the next day they will all get them. And there will be substantially less unintended teenage pregnancies in this world.

You’re welcome America.

I Fail At Writing Books

I currently have multiple books that I’m “writing”… by which I mean the idea has been thoroughly born and now nobody has actually started any real writing. I’ve been saying for years I’m going to write a parenting book called “The Zen Art of Chilling the Fuck Out”, my friend Erinne and I have been planning to write a children’s version of the Martyr’s Mirror for a while (sometimes we actually get together but then end up just drinking coffee and running after our kids instead), and Kristen and I have no less than 5 children’s books layed out in story board form and then abandoned.

Well now I have one more to add to the list. My sister Tricia and I decided we should write a book about how to be an adult. The idea came about when we started talking about people we knew in high school and realized, wow, even though we always complain we feel like we don’t have our shit together we’re apparently very good at being grownups. At least compared to a lot of people our age we used to hang out with.

So look forward to our new book, “Adulting: You’re Doing It Wrong”, coming to the very back shelf off a bookstore near you. It will include such amazing adulting advice as “bills do not have suggestions as to when you could probably pay them if you get around to it, they have due dates”, “just because someone is really fun at a bar doesn’t mean their friendship is worth having in your life”, and “being an adult means embracing basic grammar… nobody is going to get all grammar nazi on you here but it is not that hard to capitalize words that need capitalization and throw in the bare minimum amount of punctuation to make your words readable”.

Conversations With My Husband: Sucking D*ck For Crack

(Preface: Mom/Dad/Anyone Who’s Offended By Profanity, this is going to involve a lot of that so just stop reading. Everyone else, We call each other crack whores a lot, it’s all loving and joking, Dave Chapelle and this sketch are 100% responsible for it, and we mean no disrespect to all the crack whores who are probably reading this right now.)

Me: “OMG thank you so much for cooking it was freaking delicious. Even though you’re a crack whore.”

David: “You’re a crack whore. You crack whore.”

Me: “I’m not a crack whore.”

David: “You’re not NOT a crack whore.”

Me: “Well, really I am NOT a crack whore. Because I’ve never sucked a dick for crack. That means I’m not a crack whore.”

David: “I guess the real question then is what would you suck a dick for? Would you suck a dick for weed?”

Me: “Absolutely not.”

David: “Would you suck a dick for a ukulele?”

Me: “That would probably depend on who’s dick it was.”

David: “I already got you a ukulele. That really nice ukulele, remember? I got you that and didn’t get anything.”

Me: “Would sucking a dick for ukulele be more classy than sucking a dick for crack? Less classy? Equally unclassy?”

David: “Definitely more classy. Because music is good for you. Crack is not good for you. If you were a ukulele whore I would have a lot more respect for you than if you were a crack whore.”

Me: “Except I’m not a crack whore or a ukulele whore.”

David: “No, you’re still kind of a crack whore.”

Me: “You’re a crack whore. Crack whore.”

I <3 Really Bizarre Fashion

I’m back! I didn’t have internet for the first month we were in the new house… at least not enough to really blog (blogging from my phone makes me want to fall over and die) but we got into the new house (an adventure that will absolutely find it’s way into a belated blogpost), went back to Phoenix for the Free To Be unschooling conference (which was hella awesome), and shot Phoenix Fashion Week again.

Which brings me to the actual point of this story… how much I love Rocky Gathercole.

People who know about fashion and who are into fashion like designers who make clothes you could possibly wear somewhere, things that aren’t too costume-y. But I am not someone who knows about or is into fashion. I am a gal who wears dresses from the Target and Ross clearance racks on my fancy days and dress like a pregnant college student on all the other days (I may or may not be wearing maternity yoga pants and a tattered tshirt I got in the 7th grade as I type this… only God can judge me) and the designers I like are huge and ridiculous and bizarre and make you raise one eyebrow and say “What the fuck?” with every new look that comes down the runway. And I LOVE ROCKY GATHERCOLE.

It started out with this…
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I am not even kidding.
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And to that I say HELLZ YEAH! Then he busted out a little bit of this…
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And ended with his daughter… in a Hello Kitty dress.
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Yep… that just happened.

And that, that my friends is why I loved most of the things I saw at Fashion Week but I ADORE crazy balls-to-the-wall wild ones like Rocky Gathercole. Seriously.

(Click HERE to see the rest of my pictures from the week.)

So My Dog is Definitely Racist…

My dogs are sweethearts. They’re big, they’re chaotic, and sometimes they’re very very noisy, but they’re sweethearts. Daisy (the pitbull) also tends to be fiercely protective of the kids and I… the time someone tried to break into our house in the night while David was gone I was only about 40% scared for me and the kids, the other 60% was scared for the poor robber because I knew the second he managed to jimmy that door open Daisy was going to end him. (He got the message from her snarling at him through the window and decided to move on to another house. Lucky for all of us.)

10% protector, 90% lazy spoiled creature.
10% protector, 90% lazy spoiled creature.

The family next door to us in this hotel are conservative Muslims who also happen to all be completely terrified of dogs. TERRIFIED. So every time we’ve run into each other while I was out walking the dogs it doesn’t matter how far away we are from them or how calm and friendly the dogs are being… they see the dogs and lose. their. shit. Specifically the dad who usually runs in front of his family yelling at me to keep the dogs away and generally panicking all over the place.

What I see is a man who has probably had VERY bad experiences with dogs in the past. I get it. My response is to turn around and walk the dogs the other way until they’re gone so they’re not uncomfortable because they’re a very nice family.

What Daisy sees is a large man acting erratically, running towards me (to get in front of his family), and yelling. Her response is the same as if he was trying to kill us all.

Which, as you can probably imagine, only makes them freak out more. And then it’s this chaotic spiral of increasing noise and panic and general chaos. It’s not awesome.

It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen them while I have the dogs (which is awesome) but occasionally now Daisy will just start barking at people. Just random people. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, she’s never done this before. But then I put it together. She barks at anyone dressed like a conservative Muslim. Her only experience with people who look like that has been this family.

So just like my neighbor sees a dog and thinks it’s going to kill him and his whole family (regardless of how it’s acting) because that has been his experience… my dog now sees someone brown wearing a hijab and thinks they’re going to kill her and her whole family (regardless of how they’re acting) because that’s been her experience. And there is probably no way at this point I could ever convince them to interact with each other long enough to realize their preconceived ideas are not based in reality. Ta da! That’s how racism happens!

And that, dear readers, is the story of how my dog became a racist. The end.

Funschool Sunday

What we did this week in the great land of homeschool. 

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1. They wanted to have sushi so we tried a new place and some new kinds we’ve never had. 
2. We went for lots of nature walks where the kids found sap. So I told them about sap, they touched/poked/squished/explored it and tried to find more, then we read about it at the library. 
3. They did lots of art on my phone. 
4. Big Truck Days in Beaverton. They had semis, tractors, firetrucks, ambulances, cranes… you name it. All that the kids could climb on, climb in, and explore. The people who drive those trucks were there too to tell them all about each one while they explored. 
5-6. This week’s NatureMobile at the library was all about earth worms. We learned all about earth worm anatomy, what they eat, how they move, and who eats them. They plastic spoons and popsicle sticks (“Spoons of Science” and “Popsicle Sticks of Perpetual Discovery” as they called them) to dig through tubs of soil to find worms and watch them move and learned about what’s in soil and composting! They also had a mole (picture 6) which are natural predators of worms. It had these tiny back feet and massive shovel like front feet to burrow through the ground. 
7. Swimming! This week Verona got comfortable jumping in from the side by herself. Now she can’t be stopped. 
8-9. Saturday there was a Polynesian Festival in Beaverton. We heard music from different islands, saw hula dancing, and explored a new cuisine. The kids chose octopus balls and I got poke, a dish of raw tuna and onions tossed in a spicy sauce and served over rice, then we all shared.

What did you learn this week? 

Kids are Cooler Than Grownups

Being in a hub of technological companies (this suburb is the hub of Intel and about five other large Intel-related companies) the hotel we’re staying in is very multi cultural. Since being here I have met more people from more countries than I can even begin to count, just off the top of my head in the last couple days I’ve hung out with people from the Poland, France, Canada, Argentina, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and spend time almost daily with a guy from Spain my dogs have made friends with and two kids from the Netherlands my kids have made friends with. It’s a fun place to be. 

There is also a lot of conservative Muslims here which has been interesting. I’ll sometimes see the little girls at the pool wearing their conservative swimwear which consists of ankle length pants, a long sleeved tunic top, and hijab… all made out of swimsuit material. It’s like the extra serious version of the rash guards you see rich white kids wearing. 

Anyway yesterday was the first day we actually ended up at the pool at the same time as them. All the kids in two large families came bounding into the pool area, ready to swim and one little girl runs up next to Verona.

Verona looked at the little girl, then pointed at her head to toe swimming getup and screamed “YOUR SWIMSUIT!!!!…”

I immediately cringed. What was Verona going to say next? Anyone who has kids is vividly remembering their own moment when their child announced to a stranger in the grocery store that they were fat, or asked someone with severe acne in an elevator what was wrong with their face or why it looked so messed up. Kids are not known for their ability to distinguish what is and is not appropriate to say to someone they barely know… and Verona has enough racist relatives that I had the added fear she’d overheard something once when I wasn’t there to immediately counteract it (even though I really really try) and was going to choose this moment to repeat it. 

The other little girl looked down at her own swimsuit, then over at Verona’s, and Verona continued, “IT’S PINK JUST LIKE MIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEE!” Then both girls squealed with glee over their commonality, grabbed each other by the hand, and jumped into the pool together. 

And that, my friends, that is why kids are cooler than grownups. 

Funschool Sunday

Funschool Sunday, the rundown of our edutastic week with children.

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1-2: The Portland Aquarium offers ridiculously cheap memberships to homeschoolers. The aquarium itself is pretty mediocre, but they have a lot of interactive stuff where kids can touch the animals.

3: My cousin from Turkey is back visiting and we got to go out for lunch and hear all about life there, the kids were especially interested in what kinds of things they eat there so she told us all about it.

4: Aviary!

5: Verona has been really into doing math with manipulatives lately. Everywhere we go she finds things and asks us to give her math problems to solve with them. That day at lunch there was minimal eating and maximum addition and subtraction being done with steak fries.

6: Our new favorite place to eat that’s really close to our new house has a kids area where Verona found an abacus. I showed her the basics and although she doesn’t understand place values yet she did spend a lot of time doing more addition and subtraction problems with the top row.

7-9: The kids wanted to know how cheese was made so I explained it to them as I understood it, when that wasn’t enough we found some youtube videos showing us, and when that wasn’t enough we decided to visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We learned all about cheese is made, got to watch the process in the factory, and tasted lots and lots of different kinds. Fun fact, back in the day white cheddar was a special holiday treat. Most cheese makers made white cheddar one day a year, Christmas Day, then would let it rest for an entire year and sell it the next Christmas.

10-12: Verona’s been asking to go to the beach for almost a year now and now that we live an hour away we can! Verona splashed, Finnegan built things, and we found a ton of these iridescent blue creatures washed up on shore. Nobody knew what they were so we went on an internet mission to figure it out. Turns out they’re called velella and they’re invertebrates that float on the oceans surface and eat zooplankton and small fish but occasionally get blown onto beaches in large numbers.

What did you learn about this week?